By Rick Ferguson
- Footwear retailer Payless Inc. announced plans to file for bankruptcy and close 400 of its 4,000 locations.
- Apparel retail Rue21 will fil for bankrucpty as soon as this month.
- Retailers HHGregg, Inc., Gordmans Stores Inc., and Gander Mountain Co. all entered bankruptcy this year
- US retailers are projected to close over 8,000 stores this year - a faster pace of stores closings than in any year since the 2008 financial crisis.
- What little retail growth there is being captured largely by Amazon, which accounted for 53 percent of retail e-commerce growth in 2016.
"This [retail expansion] created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst. We are seeing the results: Doors shuttering and rents retreating. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future and may even accelerate."
"Outlet malls have always stood out with the promise a treasure-hunt experience. A [Wall Street] Journal article ... noted how even high-end retailers are having to offer more deals to reach their loyal wealthy customers. With nearby hotels promoting free-shuttles, tourists have become a major supporter of outlet malls. Open-air environments and their ability to provide an all-afternoon adventure for family or friends are also key traffic drivers."
"In five years, a visit to the British high street will be massively different from today. Retailers want to put more power into the hands of shoppers, letting them pay with their mobiles as they browse, or giving them smart-carts with screens and built in scanning. The store itself will continue to get smarter as well. Retailers will be able to tell when and even where specific customers are in store."